Original Date: 09/14/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Work and Family Strategies Program
The demographics of the U.S. workforce have changed over the last half century. This workforce is no longer a European male-dominated arena, with the male at work and the female at home. As a result, many companies must now address the impact of family and personal issues on their productivity. The percentage of women in the workforce has doubled since 1950, and the number of single parents has tripled since 1960. As the current workforce ages, elder care is increasingly becoming an issue, much like child care did in the 1960s and 1970s. Today’s workforce is also more displaced and mobile than earlier generations. The support system of nearby grandparents and siblings is becoming rare, and the dramatic downsizing of corporate America has diminished company loyalty.
Nowadays, corporations are assuming the role of assistance provider to maintain a stable, motivated, and productive workforce. As a result of mergers, Raytheon Missile Systems Company’s (RMSC’s) Work and Family Strategies program is a compilation of legacy programs from Hughes and General Dynamics. The program provides assistance to the employees on a wide range of issues via family support activities, including:
Real-time expert assistance in dealing with illness and other emergency situations through an outsource supplier, the Dependent Care Connection (DCC); In-home care givers for sick children financed almost entirely by the company;
Proactive pre-natal care and education;
Education and consulting assistance for elder care and parenting;
Company-sponsored family activities;
Dependent daycare and child care assistance.
Through employee dedication and some outsourcing, RMSC manages this impressive collection of family programs with one in-house coordinator. The returns, however, are impressive. In 1997, DCC counselors handled 952 employee cases with an estimated savings of $337,000 in lost work hours. This savings is several times the total cost of outsourcing to DCC. The Work and Family Strategies program is making a difference in RMSC’s workforce. Employees are more productive, less distracted, more loyal to the company, and suffer fewer absences. In addition, this program serves as an incentive to attract new employees as well as retain current ones.
RMSC’s all-inclusive program covers every employee situation (e.g., families, singles, income levels). In addition, the Work and Family Strategies program addresses a wide spectrum of family life cycle issues in a real, immediate, and supportive manner. Not surprisingly, RMSC’s program has been the recipient of both regional and national recognition for excellence.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.